Media M&A Up 14% to $24B While Median Deal Multiples Fall to 1.7x

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The number of media mergers and acquisitions rose 4 percent through the first three quarters of 2015 while the aggregate value of those deals jumped 15 percent to $24 billion over the same period in 2014, according to independent investment bank Berkery Noyes.

However, the media revenue multiple fell 15 percent through the first three quarters compared to the same period in 2014, down from 2.0x to 1.7x. The median EBITDA multiple also fell 18 percent, from 11.0x to 9.0x.

Highlights from key sub-sectors include: 

  • B2B Publishing and Information: Deal volume has increased 38% on a quarter-to-quarter basis, from 39 to 54 deals. The largest deal in Q3 was McGraw Hill Financial’s acquisition of SNL Financial for $2.2B.
  • Exhibition/Conferences/Events: Deal volume remained constant in Q3; however, volume YTD increased 30% compared to the same timeframe last years, from 57 to 74 deals. The segment’s largest deal in Q3 was Dalian Wanda Group’s acquisition of World Triathlon Corporation for $650MM from Providence Equity Partners.
  • Internet Media: Deal volume declined 28%, following a 16% rise from Q1-Q2 2015. Notable transactions included’s acquisition of PlentyOfFish for $575MM; Axel Springer’s recent acquisition of Business Insider for $342MM; Yahoo!’s acquisition of Polyvore for $230MM and AOL’s acquisition of Millennial Media for $218MM.

See the full report here.

Matt Matt Kinsman is vice president of content + programming at Connectiv, the only association focused on the integrated b-to-b model—including publications, events, digital media, marketing services and business information. Prior to joining Connectiv's predecessor American Business Media in 2011, Kinsman was executive editor of Folio:, the leading information provider for the magazine industry.